By COLETTE and JOHN BANCROFT
Wine of the Week | 2009 Chardonnay de la Fruitiere
Our unflagging (if not heat deranged) search for cool summer wines has once again paid off. The 2009 Chardonnay de la Fruitiere (about $11 at wine-savvy markets and wine shops) is a stone-cold stunner.
The grapes for this flinty wine are grown on granite, mica and clay soils in France's Muscadet region and every ounce of minerality, enhanced by fermentation and aging in steel, shows.
The chill kicks in at first sniff of this chard's light lemony nose. Bright lemon is prominent on the tongue, too, with ancillary flavors of ripe pear and anise providing highlights. Above all, the taste is ultraclean and flinty, yielding maximum refreshment. The long, soft but crisp finish picks up another hint of anise from midpalate and adds an unexpected kiss of butterscotch.
This wine would be perfect with chilled oysters but it also would pair nicely with squid steaks pounded thin and flash grilled, with roasted Cornish game hen or with scampi, heavy on the garlic and lemon.
Colette Bancroft is the Times' book editor, and John Bancroft is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel. For an index and archive of reviews, go to pictograph.com.